School shootings raise security concerns

By Jamie Hufnagle
October 20, 2006

A milk-truck driver armed with three guns barricaded himself inside a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa. on Oct. 2, killing several female students execution-style before committing suicide.

32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts IV, the gunman responsible for the shooting, was “acting out in revenge for something that happened 20 years ago,” when he was a boy, State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller said.

According to police, Roberts meticulously planned every detail of the attack. Roberts entered the schoolhouse, sent the boys and adults outside and opened fire on a dozen girls. Those that were not killed were critically wounded and immediately taken to the hospital. Several girls have died in the hospital since the shooting.

This was the third school shooting within a week. Days earlier, in Colorado, a 53-year-old man entered a high school, molested six hostages and killed one girl before killing himself.

Within the same week, a 15-year-old student shot his principal to death in a high school located in Wisconsin.

With all of these shootings occurring in one week, one has to stop and think about the safety and security of students all throughout the country. The shootings are not happening in only one specific area or place. They have occurred in three separate states throughout our country all within days of each other.

A spokesperson for the White House said that President George W. Bush was “deeply saddened and troubled by the recent school violence” and that both he and his wife share the concerns of those who worry about the safety in schools.

The president said that the administration would be having a conference on the subject to discuss federal action that can help communities prevent violence.

Should it really have taken three school shootings in one week to force the administration to step up and perform? Has the safety and security of the students of the United States been overlooked thus far?

It is scary enough going through this world worrying about the violence and tragic events in our daily lives. To know that not only one, but three separate shootings recently occurred within schools is frightening.

Although certain things cannot be stopped, the reoccurring violence within schools can definitely be lessened, if not prevented, by taking special security measures and by making security a priority.

If the security is this bad in schools now, what does that say for the children that we will be sending to school 20 years from now?

The world seems to be getting more and more dangerous as the days pass by. Because of the increased violence, we must follow the times and develop well-devised security plans so that it is not as easy for any random person to enter a school building armed with deadly weapons.

There have already been enough tragedies because of school violence as it is. Now is the time to step up and make changes. It is unfortunate that so many lives had to have been lost before it became a significant concern.

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Jamie Hufnagle

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